Many people enter retirement with the idea to participate in activities that were not possible while working full-time and raising children. With those significant responsibilities gone, one of the activities many seniors want to do in retirement is travel. With the time and money now available, taking a 2-3 weeks trip is possible, and living in a 55+ active adult community makes it easy.

The type of travel that in which seniors participate run the full gamut of travel. There is group travel, independent travel, domestic travel, international travel, train trips, road trips, bus trips, bike trips, weekend trips, month-long trips, ocean cruises, river cruises, budget trips, luxury trips – to list just a few options. There are also trips that revolve around hobbies or sports activities: golfing trips, fishing trips, culinary trips, antiquing trips, birdwatching trips, history trips, cultural trips, art trips, ancestry trips – the list is endless. If you have a particular interest; there is a trip out there for you.

So, how do you go about finding these travel opportunities? There are plenty of places to start. First, try using internet searches. Many companies cater to or offer deals for senior travelers. Here are two to start your search:

AARP Travel Center works with Expedia to offer discounts and special deals for seniors that can be booked online. Domestic and international itineraries are available along with discount hotels and car rentals.

Road Scholar used to be known as Elderhostel. They have now upgraded from staying in hostels and college dormitories, but this non-profit organization still offers unique educational travel opportunities that often include lectures or programs conducted by subject specialists. This organization is great for those that want more than just a standard sightseeing trip.

Next, try looking at organizations that to which you already belong. Senior Centers, Cities, Alumnus organizations, Unions, Churches, Historical Societies are all organizations that often offer trips throughout the year. There are meet-up travel groups in some cities that organize group trips for people that don’t want to travel alone or don’t have companions with the time or money to take trips with them. There are also professional travel companion services that will travel with you and handle all your travel needs.

Once locating a tour or company, check out how other travelers reviewed them on TripAdvisor. Reading the experiences of other travelers help to see the value of the product the company offers. That inexpensive tour you’re eyeing may be with a company that has a long list of problems so best to shy away. TripAdvisor is also an excellent place to check out hotels – the reviews will often list issues that you’ll never see on the hotel website.

Traveling is a great experience, and with proper planning, it will go smoothly. My view is that when it all goes well, it’s truly relaxing and magical and when it doesn’t go well – those are the best stories. Make the most of your golden years and see the world and all its beauty.

Looking for an active adult community? Check out The Tapestry, an age-targeted community in Garner, NC. Call 919-772-4663 for more information.